Tuesday, August 2

Guarding Our Emotional Sobriety 8/2/16

         I'm getting stronger. 

      Emotional dust storms hap-pened this week, while relating with others.  That is when the fun began.  I'm  not saying this because I like drama.  Far from it.

       As we grow in knowing how to relate with others, diffi-culties become opportunities.  They allow us to practice spiritual and emotional weight lifting. We exercise strength, applying healthy principles.  This helps when interacting with hurtful or toxic people.  What a deal! 

       We fortify ourselves each time we lay aside inadequate ways of coping.  These ways of coping surface, whenever we react.  It is better to respond.  The unhelpful coping mechanism of resentment, fear, passivity, anger and pro-crastination lurk, if we aren't careful. 
      Our emo-tional muscles get stronger when we are mentored, learn-ing from those who know recov-ery.  

      We guard our emotional sobri-ety by applying healthy princi-ples.  We replace inadequate coping mechanisms with more effective behavior.  Like applying boundaries. Trav-eling life's path has its bumps and potholes.  

        We will encounter conflicts and discouraging times.  The road to life is improved when we use the asphalt of disciplined responses to smooth out this rocky road. Read  here, for more about that.

        We become better, not bitter, when connecting with emotionally mature, supportive others, also known as our Balcony People. See footnote. Challenges that one time fright-ened us, are seen for what they are.  They are moments where we can insert healthy principles to shore up the weaker parts of our soul.

            Sometimes life is a matter of taking it in 15 minutes increments.  There are times when taking it one day at a time is more than we can handle.  Life is easier and calmer when we are gentle towards ourselves.  Acknowledging the healthy steps we are taking---even if they are tiny, is a re-assuring perspective. 

        It helps us see we  are getting better.  We give ourselves credit.  Looking at life this way helps us enjoy more tran-quility and peace of mind.  It is preferred than the alterna-tive, kicking ourselves. 
"Perhaps I can let go of all condemnation for this one day.  I will recognize that I am on a spiritual path of self-improvement.  Every tiny step I take on that path moves me closer to wholeness, health, and serenity."  Al-Anon Family Groups Inc., Courage to Change 2nd Edit.Virginia Beach, 1992, 19. Print.
        As we get stronger, feeling better about our values, choices, dreams and decisions, we can politely and firmly, disagree. We process conflicts that at one time would have been disturbing.For more insight and skills that help when encountering a difficult or frustrating situation, click here

        For most of us, conflicts are few and far between.  When they do appear, the following is helpful:
After years of letting people take advantage of me, I had built up quite a store of anger, resentment, and guilt . …. So many times I wanted to bite off my tongue after saying,“yes, “ when I really wanted to say, “no.” Why did I continue to deny my own feelings just to  gain someone’s approval? ….
The answer became apparent:  What I lacked was courage. Was I willing to try to learn to say, “no,” when I meant no? Was I willing to accept that not everyone would be thrilled with this change? Was I willing to face the real me behind the people-pleasing image? Fed up with volunteering to be treated like a door mat, I squared my shoulders and answered, “Yes.”
..... Do I make a conscious choice about what I say? And when it is appropriate, do I say what I mean and mean what I say? If not, why not? All I have to offer anyone is my own experience of the truth.
‘There is a price that is too great to pay for peace…One cannot pay the price of self-respect.'   Woodrow Wilson     Courage, 207
             Have a great and grateful day, I will.  Remember, we are the average of the five people we hang out with.  We want to make sure they are emotionally mature, healthy, kind and positive. We deserve relationships like that, we really do.

How About You?
     What spiritual weightlifting are you doing?  Where are you been placing principles above your personality?  I love hearing from you.


     What a gift it has been, seeing my supportive family expand, as time goes by.  Not only have I a flesh-and-blood family, but an expanded family due to others who are a part of my life. They are my Balcony People.

     These dear ones love and accept me unconditionally, they are in the grandstands of my life, cheering me on, as I run the marathon of life.  Best of all, they don't give me advice.  They may share their experience, strength and hope, when I ask.  More importantly they empathize and are simply available.

Image: Countryside: "Wintry Pastoral" by Tim Blessed.  All rights reserved, used by permission. 

1 comment:

Thumper said...

Hi Pablo,

Thank you for reminding me that difficulties can be opportunities for growth, especially when dealing with difficult people. You are correct in that difficult people help us practice healthy principles and in turn help us heal from depression when we state our feelings and set boundaries. This is so much healthier than pushing our feelings deep down inside of us where they brew and percolate until we cannot take the stress any longer.

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